Notre Dame to finish homestand against Ball State, Wisconsin
Ryan Klaus | Thursday, February 5, 2015
Coming off a home victory over Northwestern last Friday, Notre Dame finishes off its five-match homestand against Ball State and Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Irish (3-1) were scheduled to play Illinois on Monday, but the match was postponed due to weather. That match is now scheduled for Feb. 28.
“Certainly we were disappointed that we weren’t able to play Illinois on Monday, but there is a silver lining for every situation and having Monday off gave us a few extra days rest to get us fully recovered after the Northwestern match,” Irish coach Ryan Sachire said. “It’s allowed us to have a really full week of training this week. We really have been able to take advantage of the time off, and I feel like we are a better team because of the last four days of practice.”
Sunday will be unique for Notre Dame in that it will be the first time the Irish will face two opponents on the same day this season. Despite having two opponents, Sachire insisted that the Irish were not taking different approaches with Wisconsin (1-3) and Ball State (2-3).
“(We’re) taking the same approach with both,” Sachire said. “Both Wisconsin and Ball State are good teams. Both teams have had a history of NCAA success over the last few decades. We know they will be good, competitive matches this Sunday.”
One benefit to the two matches Sunday is that it opens up more playing spots for the Irish, Sachire said.
“It will give us the opportunity to get other guys in our lineup and get a few more guys the opportunity to play, which will be really good for them and the depth of our team because I think it’s probably unrealistic to think that over the course of the season we’ll stay totally healthy,” Sachire said. “For the guys that have been starting, it gives them the opportunity to potentially play two matches in a day. I think that you get better every match you play, so we’re looking forward to the opportunity.”
Sunday will also be different for the Irish in that it will be the first time this season that they play unranked opponents.
The two matches Sunday will be the last matches Notre Dame will play at home before the Feb. 28 makeup, as road contests at Michigan and Ohio State follow this weekend’s play. Sachire, however, denied that the impending road contests will add any extra urgency to the matches this weekend.
“I don’t think there’s any extra urgency before going on the road,” Sachire said. “I think you’re always urgent to play your best tennis. Certainly, we want to take advantage of every home opportunity that we have. A big key for us is to be a great home team so Sunday gives us that chance, but I don’t know that there’s any extra urgency because we’re very comfortable going on the road too.”
Notre Dame plays Ball State at 10 a.m. Sunday and Wisconsin at 6 p.m. the same day. Both matches will be at Eck Tennis Pavilion.